Knee replacement rehabilitation (rehab) is a series of exercises you do after your surgery. This helps you get back your knee's range of motion and strength. You will work with your doctor and physiotherapist to plan this exercise program. To get the best results, you need to do the exercises correctly and as often and as long as your doctor or physiotherapist tells you.
Before you start any exercises, talk with your doctor or physiotherapist. It is important that you know exactly how to do the exercises. Stop and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are not sure you are doing the exercises correctly or if you have any pain. Ice your knee after exercising if it is sore.
These exercises can be done right after your surgery. You can do them in your hospital bed. Talk to your doctor before you start any of these exercises. He or she may tell you to do them in a certain way. You may need to do them several times each day. When you first do them, they may hurt. Your knee may click or pop. But these exercises will help you recover and may help your pain go away faster.
Straight leg raises
Quadriceps (thigh) strengthening exercise
Bed knee bends
When you are able to walk on your own for a few steps or a short distance, you can try these exercises. Talk to your doctor before starting any of these exercises. He or she may tell you to do them in a certain way.
Standing knee bends
Assisted knee bends
About 4 to 6 weeks after surgery, you may be able to do the standing or assisted knee bends with light weights around your ankles. Begin with 0.5 to 1 kilogram weights, and slowly increase the weight as your knee and leg get stronger. Check with your doctor before you make any changes to your exercises.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: March 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & David Bardana, MD, FRCSC - Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
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